Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines get conditional approval as boosters in Malaysia

Malaysia's Health Ministry says it is committed in upgrading the access of Covid-19 vaccine products in the country.
Malaysia's Health Ministry says it is committed in upgrading the access of Covid-19 vaccine products in the country.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Drug Control Authority (DCA) has given conditional approval to the Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca as booster shots, said the Malaysian Health Ministry.

In a statement on Wednesday (Nov 17), Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said approval had been given for the two vaccines to be used as booster doses for individuals aged 18 years and above who had received vaccines of the same type (homologous).

"The booster vaccine for AstraZeneca will be administered six months from when the second dose was given, whilst for CoronaVac, the booster dose will be administered three to six months after the second dose," Dr Noor Hisham added.

The administration of the booster doses for both varieties of vaccine to targeted groups will be outlined by the Covid-19 Immunisation Booster Task Force (CITF-B) and announced from time to time.

He said the Health Ministry would like to emphasise that the conditional registration approval required information on quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccines to be monitored and evaluated, in accordance with the latest data.

"This is to ensure the comparison of benefits over risk of the vaccines remain positive," said Dr Noor Hisham.

He added the ministry was committed in upgrading the access of Covid-19 vaccine products in the country.

Meanwhile in a tweet on Wednesday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the approval of the two vaccines will help the Vaccination Technical Working Group make recommendations on who could receive the shot under the heterologous booster programme.